Essentially, the demographic is white, middle class 2.4 (actually, more like 3+ children, we are in one of those areas where 3 children is the new 2.4) children. And tons of Japanese students who go to the local language school.
My daughters school has a good mix of nationalities. Iraqi, Jordanian, German, Acadian, and many, many Chinese students etc. But I struggle to think if I have seen any black children at the school.
Nope, still struggling.
I took my daughter to her first cheerleading class yesterday. (hmm...) The class was in, what friend's black nanny (who I often hang out with at the park) described as, a 'ghetto' area. I lived in one of the roughest parts of London for 7 years, so didn't think too much of it. Surely even the worst parts of chirpy Canada-land can't compete with the depths of 'Sarf-Laaandan town'.
Yep, the area was a little intimidating. Scrawny-looking, heavily-tattooed men hung over balconies. Young men loitered in the park, holding up their half-mast jeans with one hand on their crotch. Every surface available was covered in graffiti tags. Swarms of young children, from about age 3 up, ran on the grassy square in the centre of the community centre, with no obvious parental supervision. An enormous part of me envied their freedom, it looked so much healthier than my friends and my helicopter-hover. Altogether, it looked like a cross between 'The Wire' and 'Sesame Street'.
My daughter then asked a question which no cringing middle-class liberal parent wants to hear: "Do you have to be a brown person to live here?"
I went into Guardian reading overdrive, giving what I hoped was a informative, culturally sensitive speech about how we are all the same, yet differences are to be celebrated...yadda yadda. My teeth started itching with how hideously politically correct I was. Trevor Philips would have held me up as a beacon of hope for integration.
Yet here I was, nervously clutching my purse and holding my child's hand a little tighter because we had arrived in a part of the city where folk were unlike me. I try and think, would I be as defensive if there were a bunch of young tattooed white dudes hanging out at a park looking intimidating, and I am relieved to say that I think I would be just as nervous.
My daughter loved the cheerleading lesson. She was the only white girl there. At the end I asked her how she liked the other little girls.
She said, "Mummy, I like brown people, even though I am not meant to call them that."
Nothing like a middle-class cringe to end the day.